Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ithuriel's Spear (Triteleia laxa)

All over the hills here in Northern California right now is a lovely flowering plant called "Ithuriel's Spear"...or Triteleia laxa.  The corms (underground root part) were used for food by natives.  Raw...they have a nice clean crisp waterchestnutty kind of texture and taste.  Yum!  I have yet to try them cooked as many of the tribes apparently preferred (according to Moerman).

For now...I would consider these more of a survival type food.  While I would love to go out and dig up baskets full of corms for dinner...there are gaps in the knowledge regarding how long it takes for them to reproduce.

I found a big and fancy scientific paper on Triteleia laxa that conceded...

"We do not know how long it takes in the
field for a seedling to produce a plant that
flowers, or for how many years a plant flowers or

Perhaps I will need to grow some myself at my home like this author suggests...and I will find as she did that they "Multiply easily".  Until I do...I will probably just enjoy the flowers in the wild...and maybe sample one if I am really hungry...and in an area with multitudes of the plant.

Here is a wonderful article on the US Forest services site that gives some great ID info...distribution maps...and fun information on the name.  Enjoy!


  1. Some of the larger gun shows also have vendors who will make custom fit ear plugs for you. They cast a mold of the inside of your ears and then make a pair of perfectly fitted ear plugs that last for years. I use them for shooting and they are much more comfortable than the 'squishy' kind. And keep out more noise. If you really wanna spend the bucks, they even make them so that you can talk with people while wearing them, but loud noises are blocked.

  2. I've seen those at the gun shows...and wondered if they had merit or not. Not knowing anyone who has them...I wasn't sure. Thanks for the tip Heather!

  3. I LOVE hearing about the local plants... we have those all over up here.

  4. Yeah...isn't it neat! I just took out a group to look at native plants a weekend ago and showed a man this plant and he said..."Man...all this time I've been mowing that one up in my lawn!